Communicating the Value of Tech Transfer: An Example from NASA

Although we’ve been blogging a lot lately about effective technology marketing strategies (especially given our new webinar on this topic), there’s another kind of marketing that we at Fuentek believe is essential for technology transfer offices (TTOs).

It might feel like bragging, but communicating the results of technology transfer is as important as executing tech transfer deals. Effective communication tools that illustrate your TTO’s positive achievements demonstrate to your internal and external stakeholders both the value of tech transfer and how successful your TTO is in supporting the mission of your institution.

We recently completed a project for NASA that illustrates exactly this idea.

Everyone knows that NASA sends telescopes, satellites, and humans to explore our planet, the solar system, and beyond. But the agency is just as committed to moving its innovations into the mainstream of the U.S. economy. NASA continually wants to get the word out about its efforts to seek licenses and partnerships with U.S. companies to create spinoffs in areas such as health and medicine, consumer goods, transportation, renewable energy, and manufacturing.

NASA Flyer

This summary complements the individual flyers prepared for each of the 50 states.

So we worked with NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Office to develop flyers that convey NASA’s tech transfer-related economic impacts in all 50 states. These flyers illustrate that when businesses leverage NASA technologies to develop new products, there are tremendous benefits to local economies throughout the country. Attractive and eye-catching, the flyers contain hard-hitting metrics (such as specific investment figures) and compelling yet concise articles about interesting NASA-derived products developed and manufactured in each state – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy state and federal legislators. Through these flyers, NASA is able to demonstrate that, although not every state boasts a NASA Center, the space agency’s technologies have valuable impact throughout the country.

To convey your TTO’s value, start by determining the best mechanism to communicate your message quickly and effectively to your audience and achieve the desired outcomes. (It all comes down to the AMMO.) The overall impact of licensing technologies — how companies further develop these technologies to produce cutting-edge new products while increasing employment opportunities — is a story that needs to be told. Not only does it help you market your organization’s technology transfer program, it also provides yet another chance to talk about the technologies behind the transfer, creating the opportunity to generate more tech transfer successes.

What communication vehicles has your TTO used to demonstrate tech transfer value? You can leave a comment below or feel free to contact us privately.

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Posted by Danielle McCulloch

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